Thursday, October 19, 2017

It's getting close to unspoofable now

Another day, another ill-judged analysis of Scottish politics from Stormfront Lite's Bedfordshire-based editor Mike Smithson, known fondly to thousands of East Dunbartonshire residents as an 'impartial' letter-writing 'election expert' (in spite of being a long-standing Liberal Democrat member, a former Liberal Democrat county councillor, and a former Liberal Democrat parliamentary candidate).  When he mysteriously claimed yesterday that the SNP's electoral position was 'precarious', I wondered aloud if he was even aware of the three full-scale polls of Scottish voting intentions for Westminster that have been conducted since the election in June, and which all show that the SNP's support has gone back up.  He's unwittingly answered my question today -

"One of the problems we have with ongoing analysis of this is that there is very little regular Scotland only polling. Trying to assess what’s happening north of the border from the Scottish sub-set in national polls is fraught with danger."

Ooooh yes, subsamples are just riddled with peril for the unsuspecting impartial Liberal Democrat expert.  Just as well, then, that we've had three full-scale Scottish polls in the last few weeks, including one very recently.  Quite plainly he's oblivious to that fact.

A word of advice, Mike.  You don't even need to read Scot Goes Pop - there's a regularly updated list of Scottish polls on Wikipedia.  Might be an idea to take five seconds to check it before you next pontificate about the SNP's 'precarious' electoral position.

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Europe is being slow to realise that it needs Spain to lose

Just a quick note to let you know that I have a new article at the TalkRadio website, about what Nicola Sturgeon is likely to say and do in response to the Spanish crackdown on democracy.  You can read it HERE.

For the seventy-ninth time, yes, the SNP can be counted on to bring about an early general election

Oh for the love of God.  The latest from Stormfront Lite -

"Remember that the SNP, which opposed the 2017 election cannot be counted on to support any move which could prematurely cut its already reduced Westminster base. On June 8th it saw its 56 Scottish seats reduced to 35 and in none of them was its vote share above 46%. Its precarious position is one of the key facts of current politics which is rarely discussed."

That'll be 'rarely discussed' apart from the fact that Mr Smithson has been banging on about the same point ad nauseam for months, and has ignored the contrary argument no matter how many times it has been set out.  Here it is yet again -

1) Regardless of how 'precarious' the SNP's electoral position is or is not, everyone in the party knows it would be electoral suicide in the long-term as well as the short-term to stand in the way of a general election that might bring down the Tory government.  There is no point in delaying a hypothetical short-term electoral hit if the consequence is being tarred for decades as the Tories' "little helpers".

2) Mr Smithson's claim that the SNP "opposed the 2017 election" is quite simply false.  All 54 SNP MPs abstained in the parliamentary vote on whether there should be an election, and that was only an option because it could be quite reasonably argued at the time that an early election was likely to vastly increase the Tories' majority.  That is self-evidently no longer the case.

3) It's highly debatable how 'precarious' the SNP's position is anyway.  There have been three full-scale Scottish polls of Westminster voting intentions since the general election, and all three have recorded an increase in the SNP's vote.  The Panelbase and Survation polls would see the SNP making gains from both Labour and the Conservatives, while the YouGov poll would see them making gains from the Tories only (and not suffering any losses to Labour).  I do wonder if Mr Smithson is even aware of the existence of those polls.  It's true that electoral behaviour has become very volatile in recent years and there is no guarantee that favourable opinion polls now would translate into a good result in an early general election.  But at the very least it's fair to say that the SNP would be just as likely to make gains as suffer losses.

It's also worth gently pointing out that Mr Smithson spent two years between the spring of 2015 and the spring of 2017 telling anyone who would listen that the Fixed Term Parliaments Act essentially made an early election impossible, because it required the opposition's cooperation and they would never play ball.  That theory survived all of ten minutes once Theresa May pulled the trigger.